Dealing with Jealousy

If I should ask, “Are you a jealous person?” What would be your response? You would most likely answer that you’re not. That would be your answer because we all know that jealousy is not good. It is a destructive emotional demon that must be curtailed.

People feel jealous for different reasons. Oftentimes, we associate jealousy with relationships only. We think in terms of a husband or wife feeling jealous; mother-in-law feeling jealous of her son’s wife; or siblings feeling jealous of one another. But this monster called jealousy is much more powerful than that. Friends feel jealous of the achievements of one another, and bosses feel jealous of their subordinates’ career progress. In other words, jealousy can come in form of someone else’s success, money, kids, houses, cars, relationships, health, or even peaceful life. In all, there is usually a feeling of bitterness and unhappiness in the jealous man or woman.

Jealousy often develops as a result of fear and anger. When you are afraid that you could lose something (or someone) to another person, fear and anger begins to set in. For instance, a man may see his wife or girlfriend having a passionate discussion with another man. Without bothering to find out who this other man is, he begins to feel so hot and his thinking box starts to say to him, “Hey, you are losing your woman to another man.” At that moment, he is ready to do anything. Of course, stories abound of jealous husbands who killed their wives; so also do we have uncountable stories of women who poured acid on other ladies they believed to be their “competitors.”

Jealousy can cause a lot of havoc. It is a sure source of emotional imbalance, sadness, fury, and stress. But jealousy cannot survive without an aid. You immediately allow jealousy into your life when you have an emotional attachment to something. It usually goes with an attitude of possessiveness and this can be easily detected in a relationship jealousy; most especially during the period of courtship. But it can also be seen when it comes to the issue of material possessions. For instance, you want a brand new car but cannot afford it yet. As you think about how to get the money for your dream car, your friend suddenly calls to tell you about his newly bought car – the exact type and model you have been thinking about. If you attach so much emotion to that car, there is every tendency for you to start feeling jealous of your friend’s new possession.

Another example is where you and your colleague are in the same office. He gets promoted, but you are not. If you have an emotional attachment to a promotion, you are bound to feel jealous of your friend. Emotional attachment breeds competition, and competition leads to jealousness.

You are the eldest in the family and your youngest sibling has just bought a new house while you are still a tenant.  You say to yourself, “Why not me?” That is emotional attachment and competition at work.

Jealous people suffer a common ailment: They have a sense of lack and scarcity. A jealous person constantly feels that he lacks something. His mind tells him that if someone else acquires something that he desires, it automatically means that he can’t possess it again as it has gone to that other person. It may sound unbelievable but that is exactly the way the Secret Speaker in a jealous person reacts.

Can you get the point? Jealous people believe in scarcity! Their thoughts are that if a friend buys a brand new car, it means they cannot. They harbor an erroneous thought that if a partner achieves greatness it means that they cannot. It is a feeling of emptiness or incompleteness.

Please don’t misunderstand me. Competition in itself is not bad. It spurs you into action. We all want to be achievers and in most cases we have to fight for what we want. That is not evil. But we must know where to draw the line. We must be able to identify the point where competition becomes envy. That is the horrible point where you start feeling bitter about someone else’s progress.

If you are jealous of other people’s achievements, you must quickly embrace a new mindset. You must change your scarcity belief to a mind of plenty. You should say to yourself, “My friend’s success is mine, and my sibling’s achievement is my pride.” Likes attract likes. When you celebrate someone else’s success and achievement, such is bound to flow your way. It is one of the mysteries of life. Learn to celebrate others, and it won’t take time before people begin to celebrate you. But if you choose the path of jealousy, the only thing that can flow your way is negativity.

Discarding an insufficiency belief system involves an acceptance. You must accept the fact that your friend having bought a car does not mean he has bought all the cars in the whole world. Similarly, the fact that your younger sister has just bought a new house does not mean there aren’t more houses to buy; neither does it mean that you cannot buy your own soon. Jealous people don’t think this way. But you cannot afford to think like them because they live a life of illusion and sadness. I’m sure you don’t want that.

It is quite common among our ladies to begin to feel somehow when their friends or sisters get married before them; most especially if they don’t have any serious relationship at that time. Why? The fact that a friend or junior sister has just got married does not mean there aren’t eligible bachelors in town anymore. Why do you think the bride is asked to “throw the bouquet” at a wedding ceremony? She does that for you to happily catch the flowers! The more bouquet you catch happily at wedding ceremonies, the better chances you have of “catching” your own groom very soon. Of course, you can’t catch any flower if you stay in a jealous mood; can you?

Jealousy in relationships is often confused with love. No, they are two different things. In fact, if there is jealousy in your blood, you are bound to be suspicious of your partner almost all the time, and this can be quite dangerous. You also lose your sense of completeness and confidence as a jealous person. The cure for this is true love and trust. Perhaps you have heard in the past that most of what we fear is not real. Many of the suspicions that breed jealousy in relationships are mere imagination. You are actually nursing a fear as a jealous partner. You are afraid you may lose your partner. That’s all! Unfortunately, the effects of your jealous actions could be quite hurtful.

It is also characteristic of jealous people to be brooding about. The book of wisdom says, “You shall know the truth; and the truth shall set you free.” But how would a jealous man or woman know the truth if he/she does not open up? Effective communication is another panacea for jealousy. Are you suspecting something? Ask your partner in a loving manner. Clear your mind, and jealousy will fly away.

What if it’s actually your partner that is jealous? How do you help your relationship in such a situation? Again, it is a simple thing. You have to find out the cause of her jealousy. Let me tell you, women have a different emotional status from men. They are much more emotional but it doesn’t take them too long to trust you. And building trust in women takes simple things like showing respect, expressing affection, and giving them attention. With that, your woman is not likely to be jealous. Consider a situation where you don’t show so much care for your woman. Then your sister, mother, or lady colleague pays you a visit and you become a totally different person. You show love to your guest, you ask passionate questions, and you express emotional concerns. Tell me, how do you think your woman would feel? She will surely become jealous, and that would mark the beginning of your trouble in the home front.

The situation is not too different when it comes to men; though men can exercise better emotional control than women.  One thing is certain – when a partner becomes jealous in a relationship, it means something is lacking and it is the duty of both partners to sit together to search and provide whatever it is. The gap must be filled.

I rest my case here.

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3 thoughts on “Dealing with Jealousy”

  1. Nice one …This is one of the things that happens in an organization when somebody is doing what others can not do ! …Nice one

  2. Agreed that every one feels jealous from time to time bt our maturity is measured by our ability or efforts at controlling this emotion from time to time. Good topic to write about esp at a time when men are becoming violence most esp cos of the othe sex.

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